We’re in the midst of a podcast revolution, with statistics showing over 90 million American’s tuning into a podcast every month. It’s undoubtedly a great marketing tool for projecting your brand’s message. The podcast world is incredibly diverse, easily accessible and has created a space for even the smallest of voices to be heard across the globe.
Not only that, but podcasting can build up your reputation in no time, while also positioning you as an authority in your niche.
Alexia Souza & Foster Hodge are the couple who went from podcasting newbies to over 5 million downloads in a few short years with their podcasts Inglês Nu e Cru and Carioca Connection. Their shows bring a light-hearted and authentic approach to language learning, simplifying concepts through everyday conversations for anyone wanting to improve their English or Portuguese.
On a recent episode of The Anomalous Educator podcast, they gave a step-by-step overview on how anyone can start a podcast, today.
How Hard Is Starting A Podcast?
Looking out at this brave new world of audio, you’d be forgiven for feeling a bit intimidated. Reassuringly, it’s not as complicated as you may think.
Creating a podcast has never been easier, “You just need to know which equipment makes sense for you and which computer you’re using, and that’s it,” Alexia explains. Essentially, the bare minimum you need to start a podcast is a computer with a USB microphone, simple editing software and access to the internet.
Forget the NPR style studio or the editing entourage – you can absolutely keep it simple. Even some of the world’s most famous podcasters recorded their shows on their iPhones!
Find Your Niche
Honing in on your niche is incredibly useful because it allows you to differentiate yourself from the competition and attract a unique audience.
“Listen to a lot of podcasts that are out there and see what they are doing,” explains Alexia.
“We are doing our podcast about pronunciation and conversation techniques. We are not talking about grammar or anything else,” this clearly defines their podcast’s style and steps them away from the usual teaching podcast format.
Consider what really sets you apart from the rest. What are some of the personal experiences or perspectives you can offer that no one else can? When you zone in on this small defining factor, you end up giving people a reason to be interested and tune in.
How Long Should A Podcast Episode Be?
One of the most beneficial features of having a podcast is that you’re not constricted by the same rules as radio. This means that your podcast’s episodes can be almost any length. While there has been some speculation that the ideal time frame is between the 15-45 minute mark, you shouldn’t restrict yourself or sacrifice valuable content.
The daily news podcast channels often keep their segments to just a few minutes long. They will publish up to three times a day, while Joe Rogan, one of the world’s most downloaded podcasters, regularly hits the 3-hour mark per episode.
The length depends on the type of show you want to create. For Foster and Alexia, they wanted to give their listeners a quick dose of English every day that fits within their audience’s daily habits. “They can listen while driving, while on the bus going to work or taking a shower,” says Alexia.
Create Multiple Episodes For Launch
Content is king in the world of podcasting, and the more you have out there, the better you’ll do with podcast aggregators. According to Foster, the first 6-10 weeks are the prime time to release multiple episodes at once. It gives you the chance to not only showcase more of your content when you launch, but also boosts your search engine optimization (SEO), so you get found quicker, and can even demonstrate to potential listeners your commitment to consistency.
“Volume not only increases traffic but it just kind of puts you everywhere. The podcasting world is relatively small compared to the rest of the internet, so volume does help a little bit,” explains Foster.
Edit Your Podcast Using Free Software
At the very top of the list of podcasting concerns is ‘How do I edit my episodes and make it sound professional?’ This is where free software can really help. Easy to use, cut and paste editing software such as Audacity, Music Maker and Pro Tools First are all perfect to use for even the most novice podcasters out there. The various features allow you to create professional sounding episodes with just the click of a button.
Share Your Episodes
All podcasts naturally evolve over time, sometimes completely changing format and even branding later on. So rest assured, you probably won’t get it right from day one. To alleviate any lingering podcast pre-launch anxiety, you may want to get some valuable feedback from those you trust.
This can help iron out any kinks, clear up anything that’s unclear and guide you towards creating a more streamlined episode before you launch.
“Send those audios to some friends, people that might be interested,” says Foster. “See what they think, get over the fear and the imposter syndrome, and then launch it!”
As podcast audiences numbers are not even close to peaking, there has never been a better time to start a podcast for your business, brand, or even just for yourself. So what are you waiting for? Get creating!